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ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to determine if prolonged exposure to perceptual-motor mismatch increased adaptability and retention of balance in older adults. Sixteen adults, aged 66 to 81 years, were randomized to one of two groups: either the control group (n=8) or the experimental group (n=8). Both groups first completed six trials of walking an obstacle course. Participants then trained twice a week for 4 weeks. In the training, the control group walked on a treadmill for 20 minutes while viewing a static visual scene and the experimental group walked on a treadmill for 20 minutes while viewing a rotating visual scene that provided a perceptual-motor mismatch. Following training, both groups were post-tested on the obstacle course. The experimental group moved faster through the obstacle course with fewer penalties. This training effect was retained for 4 weeks. Exposure to perceptual-motor mismatch induced an adaptive training effect that improved balance and locomotor control in older adults.
The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 10/2008; 63(5):P295-300. · 2.85 Impact Factor